• The ASX will open higher this morning, defying a slump in New York
  • Tesla shares plunged 12%
  • Oil prices tumbled on recession fears


Aussie shares are set to open higher this morning despite a fall in New York. At 8am AEDT, the ASX 200 Jan futures contract was pointing up by 0.80%.

Overnight, Wall Street investors were in a selling mood on the first trading day of the year as they weighed the possibility of a recession.

At the close of Tuesday, the S&P 500 finished lower by 0.40%, the Dow by 0.03% and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.76%.

Tesla’s share price plunged 12% following a very disappointing fourth quarter update as the company struggled to deliver cars.

For the quarter, Tesla delivered only 405,278 vehicles, well below the median estimate of 431,000 according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Tesla share share price has slumped by 70% over the past year.

Apple also fell 4% on concerns about iPhone supply over the next quarter. The fall took Apple’s valuation to below UU$2 trillion, but the company is still regarded as the world’s most valuable.

Elon Musk’s unlisted space venture, Space X, was valued at US$137 billion after the latest round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Space X launched a total of 61 flights to space in 2022.

In other markets, the Aussie dollar fell 1% against the USD to US67.33c, while Brent crude slumped 3% to Us$83.36 a barrel.

“Oil prices are tumbling as risk aversion sends the dollar higher, and dampens expectations that the crude demand outlook will improve anytime soon,” said OANDA analyst, Edward Moya.

“Crude prices could struggle here as a strong dollar could be here to stay as investors can’t pass up the yield they are getting in fixed income.”

Gold meanwhile was riding a nice wave of falling Treasury yields and safe-haven flows as recession risks rise.

The yellow metal rose 1% overnight to US$1,838.99 an ounce.

“The precious metal should see strong inflows as stock market sellers appear to be clearly in control,” said Moya.

To cryptos where Bitcoin has fallen by 0.4% in the last 24 hours to US$16,670.

For many in the crypto space, the Terra LUNA and FTX implosions showed the importance of decentralised finance.

Stockhead’s Rob Badman has gathered some end-of-year thoughts from seven respected DeFi experts to share their insights and predictions on the future of decentralised finance.

Read the rest of that story here.


5 ASX small caps to watch today

ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS)
The cannabis company has secured $9.9m supply agreement into the German medicinal cannabis market. The company has executed a binding agreement with Ilios Santė GmbH to supply a minimum of $9.9m worth of GMP manufactured, medicinal cannabis products over 3 years.

Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL)
Piedmont has amended its agreement with Tesla to supply the US automaker with spodumene concentrate (SC6). Under the amended deal, Piedmont has agreed to deliver approximately 125,000 metric tons of SC6 to Tesla beginning in H2 2023 through the end of 2025. The pricing will be determined by a formula-based mechanism linked to average market prices for lithium hydroxide monohydrate throughout the term of the agreement.

Immutep (ASX:IMM)
Immutep says it has achieved a 50% enrolment milestone (of the planned 154 patients) in its randomised Phase IIb TACTI-003 Trial for first line head and neck cancer. The TACTI-003 trial is evaluating Immutep’s first-in-class soluble LAG-3 protein eftilagimod alpha, in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab).

Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL)
Palladium grades of up to 7.06 g/t over one metre within a 33 metre high-grade intersection were discovered in a new drill line. Results include: 33 metres @ 2.05 g/t 3E (1.71 g/t Pd, 0.24 g/t Pt, 0.10 g/t Au), 0.24% Cu & 0.29% Ni from 271m.

The medical billing company has issued a statement to shareholders, requesting them to reject a takeover offer from DWY, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dawney & Co. DWY had earlier proposed an unsolicited off-market takeover bid to acquire all of the issued shares in ICS for $0.20 a share.